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Industry & Technology

Researchers get gene drive to push mice beyond Mendel

Ars Technica - 17 min 38 sec ago

Enlarge (credit: Rene Schwietzke)

Gene drive is both a promising and disturbing technology. It allows us to engineer a stretch of DNA that, once inserted in a specific location in an organism's genome, will convert other versions of the gene so that they also carry the insert. Once started in a population, gene drive will convert the entire population within a relatively short number of generations.

That's promising, in that it opens the door to editing mosquitos to cause sterility to spread through a population, eliminating the spread of diseases and a fair bit of itching. But it's also a genie that, once out of the bottle, appears to be impossible to put back—and hence is disturbing. But so far, there has been a small consolation: it has only been shown to work in insects.

Now, a large research team at the University of California, San Diego, has managed to get it working in mice. Sort of. It turns out that the efficiency is much lower. While the gene drive DNA is inherited at rates well above normal Mendel-style inheritance, it's nowhere near as effective as in insects, and it's not clear we know how to fix it.

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Aibo looks even more adorable in 'chocolate' edition - CNET - News - 1 hour 22 min ago
Aibo has a new look in Japan.

Preview Polestar 2's new Android infotainment system with an interactive site - Roadshow - News - 1 hour 29 min ago
Its Android-based system is a breath of fresh air, and very different from Volvo's Sensus.

Microsoft's Edge browser warns you about fake news - CNET - News - 1 hour 30 min ago
The NewsGuard plug-in checks news sites' credibility and gives you their background.

Foldable Galaxy F, Galaxy X phone faces 9 major challenges - CNET - News - 1 hour 30 min ago
Samsung may be the 800-pound gorilla, but it's not immune to colossal risk.

2020 GMC Sierra HD tows 30,000 pounds, has x-ray camera tech - Roadshow - News - 1 hour 30 min ago
GMC's new 2500 and 3500 heavy-duty pickups boast 910 pound-feet of torque and groundbreaking "Transparent Trailer" camera tech to improve towing visibility.

Every new movie and show on Netflix: February 2019 - CNET - News - 1 hour 30 min ago
The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Pretty in Pink are coming to Netflix this month!

Newark Airport investigates drone sightings that halted arrivals - CNET - News - 1 hour 34 min ago
One of the busiest airports in the US stopped arrivals temporarily Tuesday after drones were spotted nearby.

2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack review: Brash and better than ever - Roadshow - Reviews - 1 hour 35 min ago
The boisterous muscle car already had a killer engine, and now it's got even more grip with which to exploit that power.

Terabyte-using cable customers double, increasing risk of data cap fees

Ars Technica - 1 hour 35 min ago

Data cap cash. (credit: Aurich Lawson | Getty Images)

US cable Internet customers are using an average of 268.7GB per month, and 4.1 percent of households use at least 1TB, according to new research by the vendor OpenVault.

Households that use at least 1TB a month are at risk of paying overage fees because of the 1TB data caps imposed by Comcast and other ISPs. Terabyte users nearly doubled year over year, as just 2.1 percent of households hit the 1TB mark last year, according to OpenVault.

Cable Internet providers use OpenVault products to track "broadband data usage consumption levels for millions of subscribers," the company says. This gives OpenVault visibility into how much data broadband customers use each month.

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Instagram boss responds to suicide claims

BBC Technology News - 1 hour 37 min ago
Parent company Facebook says it is "deeply upset" by the death of Molly Russell, and is reviewing its policies.

2019 Ford Expedition Max Platinum review: Fully loaded, super-sized SUV - Roadshow - Reviews - 1 hour 40 min ago
Ford's largest SUV gets the Platinum treatment and a heaping helping of every luxury and amenity in the automaker's arsenal.

Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin launches New Shepard from Texas - CNET - News - 1 hour 42 min ago
The rocket's 10th mission brought NASA-sponsored research to the edge of space.

OnStar has been helping recover stolen cars for over a decade - Roadshow - News - 1 hour 43 min ago
GM's telematics network is the OG of connected car tech.

WWE Royal Rumble 2019: How to watch, start time, entrants and full match card - CNET - News - 1 hour 45 min ago
The Royal Rumble is this weekend. Here's every confirmed match and Rumble entrants.

Hulu drops base price from $8 to $6 per month - CNET - News - 1 hour 46 min ago
Hot on the heels of Netflix's price increase, Hulu's cheapest plan gets cheaper. As long as you're OK with ads.

Switch dominates a great year for game consoles in 2018

Ars Technica - 1 hour 47 min ago

Enlarge / Super Smash Bros. Ultimate helped propel the Nintendo Switch to a great December amid an even better 2018 in the US.

A year ago, we highlighted NPD data to show that worries about the impending death of the console gaming industry were way overblown. One year later, NPD's annual sales estimates for 2018 show the US console business is doing even better, thanks in large part to the continued success of the Nintendo Switch.

NPD reports that the Switch was the best-selling system in the US for 2018 in terms of both unit sales and total hardware revenue. That said, the system didn't quite rise to the sales level the PS4 hit in 2015, its extremely strong second full year on store shelves.

December in particular was a banner month for Nintendo's portable/TV hybrid, though. You need to go back to the height of Nintendo Wii mania to find a month where any console made more hardware revenue (December 2009) or sold more units (December 2010) in the US.

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Meizu Zero minimalist phone has no buttons, no ports - CNET - News - 1 hour 56 min ago
Charging and data transfers are all done wirelessly and the screen is also the speaker.

US asks Canada to turn over Huawei’s CFO on alleged sanctions violations

Ars Technica - 1 hour 57 min ago

Enlarge / Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co., left, leaves her home under the supervision of security in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (credit: Ben Nelms/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The United States government said Tuesday that it is seeking the extradition of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou from Canada. In addition to being the chief financial officer of Huawei, Meng is also the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei.

Meng was arrested last month on charges that the Chinese telecom giant and affiliated companies have been doing business in Iran in violation of US sanctions laws—and that Meng had been directly involved in covering up Huawei's Iran dealings.

Meng sits on the board of a Huawei partner company called Skycom Tech that US and Canadian authorities have accused of doing business with Iran. "In late 2010, Skycom’s office in Tehran offered to sell at least 1.3 million euros worth of HP gear" to a major Iranian telecommunications provider, Reuters reported in 2013.

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New Shepard makes 10th launch as Blue Origin aims to fly humans late in 2019

Ars Technica - 2 hours 3 min ago

Enlarge / The New Shepard launch system is prepared for Wednesday morning's flight. (credit: Blue Origin)

Under clear West Texas skies on Wednesday morning, Blue Origin's autonomous New Shepard launch system made what appeared to be a flawless flight into space and back. After separating from its booster, the spacecraft ascended to a height of 106.9km before returning to Earth by parachute. The booster also made a nominal powered landing.

For Blue Origin, the company's first flight of its reusable New Shepard system in more than six months served a dual purpose. It provided additional test data for the launch system as the company moves closer to crewed flights, and the launch allowed the company to fly eight NASA-sponsored research and technology payloads into space through NASA’s Flight Opportunities program.

During the webcast, Blue Origin's head of sales, Ariane Cornell, said the company was "aiming" to conduct human flights on board New Shepard before the end of 2019 but stressed that Blue Origin would not compromise on safety to meet any arbitrary dates. The company has yet to begin selling tickets for the six-person capsule or set a price for the 11-minute experience that will take passengers above the Kármán line and provide a few minutes of weightlessness.

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